Neurofeedback FAQ

Neurofeedback FAQ

What is neurofeedback?

Neurofeedback is direct training of brain function, by which the brain learns to function more efficiently. We observe the brain in action from moment to moment. We give that information back to the person by sound through feedback tones or by visual reinforcement through screen fading. And we reward the brain for changing its own activity to more appropriate patterns. This is a gradual learning process. It applies to any aspect of brain function that we can measure. Neurofeedback is training in self-regulation. Self-regulation is a necessary part of good brain function, and self-regulation training allows the central nervous system to function in a healthier way.

How does neurofeedback work?

We apply electrodes to the scalp to listen in on brainwave activity. We process the signal by computer, and we extract information about certain key brainwave frequencies. Some frequencies we wish to promote. Others we wish to diminish. Eventually the brainwave activity is “shaped” toward more desirable, more regulated performance. The frequencies we target, and the specific locations on the scalp where we listen in on the brain, are specific to the conditions we are trying to address, and specific to the individual.

What issues does neurofeedback improve?

Neurofeedback addresses any problems of brain dysregulation. Just to name a few: ADHD, insomnia, anxiety, depression, traumatic brain injuries, headaches and migraines, chronic pain, PTSD, stroke recovery, autism spectrum issues, stress, fears and phobias, tantrums, relationships, trauma, emotional disturbances, mood disorders, focus.

How many sessions of neurofeedback will I need?

Research shows that individuals need an average of 40-60 sessions total. Our clients begin with 20 sessions and then do a second brain map to see their progress. We make recommendations for the future according to the second map. Depending on the severity of a client’s symptoms, many people require more than the average suggested sessions in order to achieve their specific goals.

How does neurofeedback affect any medication I'm taking?

With successful neurofeedback training, the medications targeting brain function may very well no longer be needed, or they may be needed at lower dosages, as the brain takes over more of the role of regulating itself. Please note – It is important for clients to communicate with their prescribing physician regarding neurofeedback and medications. Our clinicians work in conjunction with any other providers on your care team to ensure that you receive the highest quality of care.

Is neurofeedback sustainable when it comes to healing the brain?

If the problem being addressed is one of brain dysregulation, then the answer is yes, and that covers a lot of ground. Once the brain has learned a healthier way of functioning, the brain will continue to use its new capabilities, and thus reinforce them. When it comes to degenerative conditions like Parkinson’s or dementia, or when we are working against continuing insults to the system from the body or environment, training needs to be continued at some level over time for sustainability.

Is neurofeedback safe?

Research shows your own brain “knows best”, and we agree. Neurofeedback training does not force or “push” the brain in any one direction. Basically, neurofeedback provides your brain with the information it needs to correct itself and function at its most optimal level. It simply enables your own brain’s natural process of self-correction.

Do I need to do anything to perform well in neurofeedback sessions?

Nothing at all. Some brain training systems require the user to “interact” by playing games or solving puzzles during sessions. This additional level of interaction is unnecessary with our state-of-the-art neurofeedback system. During a training session, you can simply relax and enjoy!

How do you know what protocols to use?

Over the years, certain neurofeedback (EEG Biofeedback) training protocols have been developed that are helpful with certain classes of problems such as attention, anxiety and depression, seizures and migraines, as well as cognitive function. There are a number of assessment tools we use to help us decide which protocols are the best fit for you.

How long does a neurofeedback session last?

Each appointment includes about 5 minutes of set-up time and 30 minutes of neurofeedback training.

What is the neurofeedback room like?

We have created a very comfortable and relaxing space for clients to come in for their training sessions. Each client has their own private space with a comfortable reclining chair. Parents and caregivers are welcome to stay in the room with younger clients during their sessions.

What does BCIA / BCN mean?

BCIA certification is an important differentiator in the industry. BCN stands for “Board Certified Neuro-therapist.” In order to gain the certification, our professionals had to go through Biofeedback Certification International Alliance’s (BCIA’s) education and training. BCIA certification is the industry standard for excellent, informed, and educated biofeedback training. It is recognized by the Association of Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB), the Biofeedback Federation of Europe (BFE), and the International Society for Neurofeedback and Research (ISNR).

How many neurofeedback training sessions should I do?

The average number of neurofeedback sessions to achieve enduring change is 40-60 sessions.

How long until I will start noticing a difference from neurofeedback?

On average, most people require 10-15 sessions to experience symptom changes.

If Neurofeedback is so successful, why haven't I heard of it before?

Information verifying the outstanding results of neurofeedback is growing by the day. The National Institute of Health lists more than 130,000 scientific publications on EEG, 450 in neurofeedback, and 8,500 peer-reviewed publications in biofeedback. This technology has been shown on Dr. Phil, The Oprah Winfrey Show, & 20/20. Recently, an article was published in Time Magazine called neurofeedback “the most effective solution for ADHD” by the journal Opinions in Pediatrics. In addition to this, the journal Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America has dedicated the entire issue to the advantage of using neurofeedback in psychiatric disorders affecting children and adolescents.

What are the age limits for neurofeedback sessions?

We treat anyone ages 5 and up.

Is neurofeedback suitable for individuals with cognitive impairments or developmental disorders?

es! We have treated clients with Downs Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Cerebral Palsy, to name a few. If you have questions about your specific case, we’d love to talk more and find out if we can be helpful.

Is neurofeedback suitable for athletes looking to enhance their performance?

Yes! While much of our work is aimed at decreases symptoms, we also do peak performance training, which is geared towards maximizing the brain’s efficiency and removing barriers to athletic, cognitive, or creative performance. We’ve worked with golfers, football players, and hockey players ranging from the high school to professional levels.

What should I expect during a neurofeedback session?

Neurofeedback sessions last for 30 minutes and are designed to be very relaxing, requiring minimal effort from you. You can choose to train with your eyes open, watching a TV show, or eyes closed, listening to relaxing music. Either way, you’ll have a few EEG sensors on your scalp and your only job is to sit still and relax while the software trains your brain.

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